Big picture before big data

So-called big data analytics has, without question, enormous potential. More and more, if you aren’t competing on analytics you aren’t competing. If you aren’t working to make your customer experience more personalized and relevant, you are on your way to becoming irrelevant.

Yet many, if not most, companies are not making good use of small data. If you haven’t figured out how to glean useful insight from what you already have, piling on more data is not only unlikely to help, it’s bound to smother and confuse your efforts.

So what to do?

For most brands the place to start is with a few big picture questions:

  • What are our most important customer segments and how are we doing against our desired outcomes?
  • What are the key drivers of performance for each segment? How are these drivers changing?
  • How to we stack up against our current and emerging competition? Where are we most vulnerable?
  • Where are the greatest opportunities right now to improve on the highest leverage drivers of customer profitability, loyalty and remarkability?

This relatively quick and easy exercise should yield a roadmap for where you need to go next in your customer insight journey. Generate a manageable set of hypotheses or options to guide your action plan. If a lot more data will help, fantastic. Get on it.

Many times you have plenty of data. What you need is more insight and more action. And if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.


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